Cornwall Race–A Time of Change


On April 27th, I set a new PB running a Half Marathon. I ran it in 1 hr 23 mins and 1 sec. Yeee- Freakin’ Haw!!!


I went into this race, for the first time, with a very specific goal and detailed strategy.

I went into this race, for the first time, with a totally different run form.

I went into this race, for the first time, with a new mentor and new training style.


Holy Crap!!


I was probably more nervous then I had been in many races.

I had come to the conclusion that I would hit my goal or drop out trying because there was no going back. Yes, I was nervous, but mentally I was determined and focussed. My goal was a 1 hr 25 min Half Marathon.


Friday Night – instead of my usual pre race run, I was actually requested to do some drills with strides. My youngest daughter Keira spied me on the road and laughingly called to my middle daughter “ Alina, came quick! Daddy’s doing Irish dancing.” I finished up my drills and strides, and came in and  stretched for about 15 minutes.


Saturday Morning Pre Race – my usual cup of coffee, followed by my usual pre race breakfast. A bowl of cereal, a banana and a glass of juice. I gathered my things up, and left the house sipping on some sport drink as I drove to Cornwall. Once I got the urge to pee, I realised I had had enough and shut the sipping down.

Arriving at the college in Cornwall, I quickly got my kit together and headed outside.

I had to pee

I had to pee again

I had to pee one more time.

The Race

The race is quite nice. Cornwall has some spectacular trails for running and biking and the Half saw us running along the river and through some of the parks. You can view the Map here


Pre race warm up – I opted to do some drills, with race pace picks ups as opposed to running the light 2K I normally do. Took 1 gel 20 minutes before race start. It was still about 4 degrees and overcast so great racing weather.

We lined up and did our salute to Boston by pausing for thought. Then, I mentally eliminated everyone around me and became very focussed on what I was trying to do. I placed myself towards the front and decided to latch onto Chris Belair ( sound familiar? see Somerstown SnowShoe report ) for the first portion. I knew I was not going to be staying with him, but I wanted to follow his lead out and open a bit of a gap. I also was very aware Dan Contant was around and I was going to do everything I could to stay close to him.

msrun123The first 2K – The plan was to go out a little faster, probably around 3:45 pace open up a bit of gap, then slow it back down to my target pace of about 4:00  – 4:02 min/km pace. I went out pretty much as described, except Chris pulled away much faster then I had thought.

3K – 12K –  Right around 2 – 2.5K, I could hear footsteps coming up behind me quickly, and I knew it was Dan Contant. As Dan flew by me, I watched him go about 10-15 meters ahead and then I shut down the growing space. I had dropped my pace, but I decided to keep the gap with Dan as constant as possible. We were bouncing between 3:50 and 4:00 pace and I was feeling really good. We were running into the wind slightly with a slight incline, but it was not enough to hurt. The bridge between Dan and I worked like a rubber band for a while but around 8K I decided to try and bring it in. By about 9K I was within 5 meters and at the turnaround I bridged up to a couple of strides. In good sportsmanship ( as all Cornwall folks are known for ) Dan congratulated me on running strong. ( sub note – this is why I love these guys, competitive with pure class. I have yet to meet anyone up in that area who is not an excellent sport. )

12K – 16K – We were into some light rollers, and I sensed Dan had slowed slightly, so on one of the climbs I moved ahead  to share the load. I had no trouble taking my turn as Dan was more then willing to let me stay on heels . We chatted as we ran along still jumping between a 3:50 and 4:00 min pace. At one point we were side by side, and I have to say, that running alongside Dan felt pretty awesome. He’s an amazing athlete and had this been mid summer…I can almost guarantee he would be ahead hands down. As we came upon the 16K mark, Dan started to pull away and opened up a gap of about 50 meters.

16K – 21.1K – I grabbed my last drink off a table, looked at my watch and realised I had a really good shot at breaking my original goal. What I was nervous about, was whether or not there was some monster hiding that would take me down. I decided not to try anything fancy, I was ahead of my goal and shifting to a different gear was not worth it. I continued on running the sub 4:00 min pace……and then we crashed into the 5Kers. It was a sea of people and I started dodging them left, right, center…on and on. I managed to keep a pretty consistent pace, but I did drop slightly. It was fine, I was still ahead and I was enjoying this last little bit of the run.


Finish – I crossed the finish line feeling really good. I realised that it was without the usual finish line stress or post race exhaustion. I regained my composure quickly, grabbed a drink and shook hands with the guys who came in ahead of me.


Much has changed for me in the last few months, and given I went into this race with so many unknowns, I am very happy with the results.

I was just asked tonight “Where do you go from here?”

My answer is “Dunno, but it’s going to be fun!”


My thanks to Mike Stashin of Run Effortlessly , Neil Rosenthal of Sole Fit and Good Guys Tri for their support over the last few months!



Distance – 21.1K

Technical Challenge – 6 out of 10

Scenery – 8 out of 10

Race Atmosphere – 10 out 10

Probability to do it again – Definitely

Time : 1 hr 23 mins 1 sec

Place – 4th overall, 2nd age cat



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